CAYUGA, ON – It didn’t take Paul Noakes and Crew Chief Les Mellows long to make their mark in the NDRA Alcohol Funny Car Series presented by Ohsweken Speedway. With bracket car like consistency, Noakes and Mellows put on a dominating performance to claim the event title and grab both the series elapsed time and mile per hour records.
The Meritor Driveforce/Euclid sponsored team laid down a 5.67 in the first round, followed by a 5.70 in the semi-finals and capped the weekend off with a 5.69 in the final round to defeat Cicero, NY, native Brian White in his White’s Auto Speed/Freeman Farms Dodge Avenger. “Wow, yeah, times were tough and everyone thought we had it covered but I’ll tell you, it took a lot of work,” said an ecstatic Noakes. “It’s all up to my crew guy’s and Crew Chief and they’re the best in the business and I can’t thank them enough.”
Of course, Noakes couldn’t do what he does without a great support system in place. “I can’t go without mentioning my sponsors, Meritor Driveforce, Euclid, Harman Heavy Vehicle Specialists and Dr. Rondeau, I got to thank everybody. And I’ve also got to thank the NDRA for putting a great package together, with some great cars and I can really see this series growing like crazy.”
Adding to the excitement of winning the event for Noakes was the added support that comes from racing close to home. “It’s great to be at home racing and there’s so many family and friends that don’t go to the races so having them here was really special. I’ve got a lot of friends here that would normally be gone but they’re all here wanting to see what’s going on (in the final).”
Les Mellows, the man who orchestrated the string of consistency was quick to pass the accolades to his crew and driver. “I stuck my neck out a little and may have put Paul in a bad situation in qualifying, but Paul’s a good driver and he can handle it. That was the only challenge really. The rest of it was just managing it. The guys are fantastic at putting the car back together the same way, which makes it pretty easy to make a sound judgement and good decision on the tune-up.”
En route to the win Noakes set new NDRA series records of 5.67 seconds and a mile per hour mark of 256.75, which also counted as a new Alcohol Funny Car track record at Toronto Motorsports Park.
Brian White had a banner weekend that included making his first five second pass and cutting a nearly perfect light in the second round of competition. “First of all I’d like to thank my wife for letting me do this, Bruce Freeman for providing the car and all the funding and NDRA for providing the series, this is fun,” said a gratified White. “We exceeded our goals for the weekend and we’re going home happy, obviously. We ran a good number and you know, runner-ups not bad.”
The track at Toronto Motorsports Park provided the perfect setting for more history in the NDRA Alcohol Funny Car Series presented by Ohsweken Speedway and gained rave reviews from both NDRA competitors and officials. A big hats off to Track Manager Neale Armstrong, Starter Mike Kolne and the entire track crew for their outstanding work throughout the weekend.
For more information about the NDRA and for full race results and points standings visit www.ndra.ca
From Jory Elliott / NDRA